Toenail fungus can be a very serious issue if not taken seriously, and, unfortunately, foot care is generally ignored or unprioritized. Affiliated Podiatrists in Chicago, IL, realize this is a big problem. "Fungal infections are reported to cause 23% of foot diseases and 50% of nail conditions" according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
More About Toenail Fungus
Nail fungus, or onychomycosis, is when a fungus infects the areas between your toes. The fungus starts as a white or yellow spot under the toenail and starts infesting deeper layers of tissue causing discoloration, thickening, and crumbling of nails.
Symptoms generally consist of the description mentioned above in addition to a distorted nail shape and a foul smell. If you're unsure, it's always best to speak with your Chicago, IL, podiatrist.
What are risk factors to keep an eye out for?
- Age is an issue because of reduced blood flow as we grow older, as well as increased exposure to fungi and slower nail growth
- Heavy sweating and history of athlete's foot
- Walking without slippers or flipflops in damp communal areas like gym shower rooms
- Skin or nail injury like psoriasis
- Diseases like diabetes that, like aging, affects circulation
- Compromised immune system
What are some complications?
Severe toenail infections may be painful, permanently damage nails, and spread to other parts of your feet. This becomes a huge problem if you have a disease like diabetes. Medications used by diabetics suppress the immune system making it easier for the fungus to wreak havoc.
What are some preventative measures?
- Wash your hands and feet regularly using lukewarm water and moisturize your nails.
- Trim nails straight across and disinfect nail clippers.
- Wear sweat-absorbing socks and choose well-fitted shoes.
- Use disinfectants or antifungal powders in older shoes to protect feet.
- Wear footwear in damp communal areas.
Do you need to speak with a podiatrist?
Affiliated Podiatrists in Chicago, IL, can help diagnose and treat your foot problems. For more information about a toenail fungus, give them a call at (773) 202-8800.
Dr. Marc Feder, Dr. Jason Kalk, and Dr. Jacob Richey of Affiliated Podiatrists in Chicago, IL, help you manage your foot care as you age. Taking care of your feet helps you stay on your feet! Foot care is especially important for our diabetic patients to prevent ulcers and other complications.
There are several changes we go through as we age, and some of these changes affect the health of your feet. Your feet may change in size or shape as arches begin to collapse. Skin also transforms as we age, becoming thinner and drier which can lead to cracks on your heels.
As we get older we can also start to feel the long-term effects of poor footwear choices. The best thing you can do for your feet is consistently wearing comfortable and supportive footwear. Remember your feet may have changed size and you should be sized appropriately. Get rid of old and uncomfortable footwear to prevent injury. Footwear that supports your arch and has ample room for your toes so they don't overlap is best.
You need to take extra care of your feet daily as you age, and diabetic patients are especially prone to developing foot problems. It's recommended to wash and thoroughly dry your feet daily, especially between the toes. Inspect both feet for any cuts, blisters, or signs of infection. Use a mirror to check the bottom of your feet if you need to. Moisturizing daily can help with dry skin and any cracks.
Regular activity is important for healthy circulation so make sure you're exercising regularly. If you do sit for a long period of time, elevating the feet and lower legs can help improve circulation.
Affiliated Podiatrists in Chicago, IL, can help you manage your foot care as you age. Contact Dr. Marc Feder, Dr. Jason Kalk, and Dr. Jacob Richey at (773) 202-8800.
Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology, or EPAT for short, is a highly advanced treatment method used to treat acute and chronic pain. If you have never heard of it before it can sound like something from a science-fiction movie, but this innovative technology is here today and may even be able to help you with your chronic foot pain. To find out if you are a good candidate for EPAT call the expert Chicago podiatrists at Affiliated Podiatrist, Ltd.
What is EPAT Therapy?
EPAT Therapy uses ultrasonic shock waves to stimulate cell growth in areas of the body with acute pain. It is one of the most advanced treatment methods available today, also, it is fully cleared by the FDA and highly effective. It uses tiny sound waves to penetrate through your soft tissue. This non-invasive shock wave triggers the cells to regenerate and increases the blood circulation of the affected area. It's like giving your body a jump start to begin healing again.
The machine used for EPAT is small and uses a wand to deliver the ultrasound waves. Treatment typically takes place over about 3 to 6 weekly sessions. Each session takes no longer than 5 to 10 minutes and you could feel an immediate benefit. The machine is non-invasive and no anesthesia is required for treatment. If you are looking for a harmless way to stop your pain, call your Chicago podiatrist to find out if you are a good candidate for EPAT.
Healing is always a process, but as we get older that process takes longer. However, now we do not have to wait for our chronic pain to go away, we can help ourselves heal with EPAT.
What EPAT Therapy Can Treat:
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Back Pain
- Foot Pain
- Hand Pain
- Heel Pain
- Knee Pain
- Musculoskeletal Issues
- Neck Pain
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Shin Splints
- Shoulder Pain
- Wrist Pain
Your Chicago podiatrist at Affiliated Podiatrist, Ltd., can use EPAT therapy to treat any type of chronic foot, heel, or ankle pain you are experiencing. Sometimes physical therapy isn't enough. We can use technology to help our healing process so we can get back on our feet faster.
To find out if you are a good candidate for EPAT therapy, call the experts at Affiliated Podiatrist, Ltd. in Chicago, IL. To learn more or schedule an appointment call (773) 202-8800. A team of friendly and qualified staff is here for you along your healing journey.
You can easily get your bunion pain under control with simple home care.
When was the last time you really looked at your feet? If you suddenly noticed that your big toe is leaning against the other toes and the joint at the base of the big toe is jutting out, then you could very well be dealing with a bunion. While bunions can happen to anyone, our Near North Chicago, IL, podiatrists Dr. Marc Feder, Dr. Jason Kalk and Dr. Jacob Richey see them most often in women.
If you have been diagnosed with bunions, there are simple strategies that you can implement in your daily life that can slow the progression of this common deformity and prevent you from needing surgery down the road. Here are some ways to manage your bunions,
- Avoid shoes that have a pointed toe or heels higher than 2 inches
- Wear shoes that have a wide toe box, provide ample cushioning and support, and are properly fitted
- Apply an ice pack for 10-15 minutes to reduce swelling
- Take a pain reliever like ibuprofen when pain and swelling appear
- Lose excess weight (if overweight or obese), which can take the pressure off of your feet
- Apply a non-medicated pad to your bunion before putting on shoes (this can prevent friction and reduce the risk for a callus)
- Tape or brace the foot to realign the deformed joint
- Stretch and exercise your feet and toes every day to improve strength and mobility
- Consider wearing a splint at night while you sleep, which can also temporarily realign the joint
When to See a Podiatrist
If you don’t know whether or not your foot pain is caused by a bunion then it’s a good idea to see our Near North Chicago, IL, foot doctors for an evaluation. If you’ve already been diagnosed with a bunion by a qualified foot care professional and your at-home care isn’t providing you with the relief you need then this is another reason to come into our practice.
If you are dealing with moderate to severe bunion pain that isn’t responding to nonsurgical treatment options, then you may want to discuss with us whether a bunionectomy might be right for you.
Worried that you might be dealing with a bunion? Living with bunion pain around the Near North Chicago, IL, area? If so, call Affiliated Podiatrists today at (773) 202-8800 to schedule an evaluation with one of our foot and ankle professionals.
Foot pain can be debilitating and at Affiliated Podiatrists, doctors offer several services to help you manage or heal that pain. At either of their Chicago, IL, medical offices, you can receive EPAT (extracorporeal pulse activation technology) to treat pain.
What is EPAT?
EPAT (extracorporeal pulse activation technology), known as shockwave therapy, is a technique used to treat numerous chronic inflammatory conditions. It utilizes high-intensity sound waves to breakdown scar tissue and increases blood flow to areas of poor circulation to stimulate healing.
You need a minimum of three sessions to a maximum of five sessions, each session lasting about 10-15 minutes for proper or complete treatment. If you're worried about the pain, EPAT treatment feels like getting repeatedly snapped with a rubber band initially then dulls into light pulses.
What are the benefits of EPAT?
EPAT helps relieve pain and heal chronic conditions that don’t respond to traditional treatment. One of its other advantages is it's non-invasive (no scarring), requires no downtime, and no anesthesia.
You can expect to see results/improvements within four weeks after the last treatment. More dramatic results may occur 8-12 weeks after the last treatment.
Who can receive EPAT treatment?
EPAT isn't recommended for people using blood thinners or women who are pregnant.
How to prepare for EPAT?
Discontinue all anti-inflammatories (Ibuprofen (Advil), Aleve, and all prescription anti-inflammatories) at least one week before the procedure. The only exception, but make sure to consult your Chicago podiatrist, is Tylenol because it's anti-inflammatory.
What does EPAT treat?
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Posterior Tibial Tendonitis
- Anterior Tibial Tendonitis
- Plantar Plate Injuries
- Peroneal Tendonitis
- Interdigital Neuromas
Do you want to speak with a podiatrist?
If you'd like to learn more about EPAT, or shockwave therapy, call Affiliated Podiatrists in Chicago, IL office at (773) 202-8800.
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